Welcome to Fearless Aging. This column addresses the challenges and opportunities of aging. One thing you will not see in this column is “gloom and doom.”
Being an older adult in the 21st century offers almost infinite possibilities. We’re living in an era of amazing technology, medical advancements, high-speed transportation, instant communication and lifespans our grandparents never dreamt of. All this and more is at your fingertips. Together, we’ll explore the possibilities and help you achieve the vibrant golden years you desire.
Thank you, Laurie Fuchs, for this question.
“What advantages do older adults have to gain by moving to a senior community? What can moving do for a senior?”
Safety and happiness are the two central factors you should consider when evaluating your future housing needs. For many, maintaining a home and garden provides a creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment. For others, the thought of raking leaves or swinging a paintbrush is pure drudgery; it’s a matter of preference. If home upkeep is not yet an issue and you are independent, staying at home is fine. However, planning for future needs is never a bad idea.
Senior communities offer many advantages that contribute to a simplified life. If you choose apartment-style living, the community provides security, meals, housekeeping and laundry service, commonly known as maintenance-free living. Essentially, you can sell the paintbrushes, tools, lawnmower, snow blower and all the other home maintenance articles; you are free to do as you wish without the worry.
Social activities and engaging in an “on-the-go” lifestyle work for many. If that’s you, a multitude of events, activities and gatherings await you in the senior communities.
For those who prefer to stay close to home and do something on their own, that’s also your prerogative. It is important to visit the community you are considering and spend a significant amount of time there. Observe what is going on, try the food, talk with residents and ask questions. If you want to live in a community with like-minded people, then doing your homework is an investment of your time that will pay big dividends.
The takeaway here is that you are free to choose the type of life that works within your situation, keeping you safe, healthy and most importantly happy. Be bold, live well and age fearlessly.
• Jennifer Prell is president of Elderwerks Educational Services, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization offering complimentary information, referrals and guidance to seniors and their families. For information, visit Elderwerks.org.